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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Salem Central School District - Purchasing (2019M-105)

Released: August 23, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the District sought competition when purchasing goods and services under the statutory bidding thresholds.

Key Findings

  • Our review of 60 purchases made during our audit period totaling approximately $182,000 disclosed that District officials lacked adequate evidence to show they sought competition for 32 purchases (53 percent) totaling about $115,000.
  • The Board did not develop and implement procedures to seek competition for purchases of goods and services that were not required to be competitively bid.

Key Recommendations

  • Maintain adequate documentation to support that competitive purchasing practices are used by employees when procuring goods and services below bidding thresholds.
  • Develop written purchasing procedures for procuring goods and services below bidding thresholds and distribute to the appropriate personnel.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.


The Salem Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Salem, Hebron, Jackson and Greenwich in Washington County.

The elected five-member Board of Education (Board) is responsible for the general management and control of financial and educational affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools is the chief executive officer and is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for day-to-day management under the Board’s direction.

The Superintendent’s Secretary is the Board-appointed purchasing agent responsible for approving all purchases and ensuring they are made in accordance with District policy, regulations and applicable laws.

Quick Facts
2018-19 Appropriations$13.3 million
2017-18 Appropriations$12.9 million
2017-18 Non-Personnel Expenditures$3.1 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2017 – February 28, 2019

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236